If you like fashion, then there will always be a way to make some extra cash. (Illustration by Rinah Kang, Rhode Island School)

The 6 Best Side Hustles for the Fashion-Minded Student

Express yourself and make money doing it.

If you’re in college then I am sure you are familiar with the struggles of having classes and a job at the same time. For many college students, it is common to attend school full-time, and have some variation of a part-time job, two part-time jobs or even a full-time job, which sounds insane, but for many is necessary. Tuition, housing, books, transportation and basic human necessities like groceries and personal/health care products are expensive. Being able to afford and maintain balance among all of these things can be a troublesome task, especially if you’re stuck working a job that you hate.

There are plenty of articles out there that provide helpful but generic suggestions for side hustles, but you’re a lot better off to narrow down your interests and focus on what you might be passionate about. If you can do that, then you are working a job that you thoroughly enjoy, giving yourself a leg-up and, for some, a segue of experience into the field of your dreams.

For me, my interest in the fashion industry has always provided a steady stream of opportunities for passive income, as well as acted as an outlet for my creativity. So, for all of you fashion-minded folk who love to express yourselves through trendy threads, I’ve got some good side-hustle suggestions.

1. Making Your Mark

Any fashion-minded student who likes to make clothing or other accessories should have an Etsy shop. Etsy is an online website that allows you to create your own sort of platform for goods that you would like to sell.

Whether you are good at graphic design and screen printing T-shirts or simply adding a unique embroidery to baseball caps, selling fashionable items on Etsy is a wonderful way to make income on the side and gain some recognition for your talents. Plus, you’re your own boss.

2. The Visionary

If you’re a fashion-minded student who loves to conceptualize style and are often the go-to friend for fashion advice, then you should consider becoming a personal stylist. Of course, there are websites like Pinterest that act as fashion and style vision boards, but what’s lacking is a personal touch.

If you’re genuinely interested in testing out your skills as a personal stylist, then I suggest you check out Tailor, a website that allows you to apply your stylistic skill set. Even better, the job is remote and flexible, giving you the opportunity to set your own schedule, which is ideal for any busy college student.

3. Shopaholics

If you like to shop until you drop, but can’t afford that type of lifestyle, try shopping for someone else. Become a personal shopper and get out all of your shopping urges while making money at the same time. Crazy, right?

The difference between a personal stylist and a personal shopper is that a personal shopper is given more hands-on tasks and physical experience with a client. A personal stylist can do their job from any remote location that would allow them to offer suggestions and advice. Being a personal shopper allows room to build a relationship with a client, making them a valuable resource of recommendation for future fashion-related job positions.

4. Fashion with Finesse

Do you often find yourself buying outdated and thrifted clothing only to upcycle it into trendier pieces? Do you carry an on-the-go sewing kit in case of hypothetical wardrobe malfunctions or other fashion-related emergencies? If so, you should consider offering your alteration services in exchange for dough.

There are certain times of the year where alterations are in high demand. For example, during prom season many need their dresses and tuxes altered. It could be a smart move to make a Facebook post offering your skill set to friends and other acquaintances of yours.

A side hustle like this would be relatively flexible for any fashion-minded college student looking to make some extra cash and become a little more savvy at their craft.

5. Influencers

A more hands-off approach to build up the bankroll with a side hustle is to become a brand ambassador.

In social media, brands have found a new platform with which to promote their products and watch developing trends arise. As a result, marketing teams have latched onto Instagram and YouTube specifically to recruit brand promoters to push their products through native advertising.

If you happen to have a YouTube channel that revolves around fashion or you are an avid user of Instagram, then I suggest reaching out to clothing brands to see if they are looking for ambassadors or people to promote their products in exchange for compensation.

6. The Purge

 Perhaps you love fashion so much that it’s now become a bit of a hoarding issue. No shame. If you consider yourself a fashion-minded student with no more closet space, think about becoming a seller on apps like Mercari or Depop. These apps cater more toward buying clothing and accessories secondhand and are a popular and effective way to earn a fairly passive income. And who doesn’t love passive income?

Side hustles are not necessarily intended to fully support anyone financially, that is why they are called “side hustles.” It is a secondary source of income alongside your more prominent job. A side hustle is intended to give you that extra cushion, so when you’ve paid your monthly rent, car insurance, phone bill, etc. you can say you’ve got a pocket of change for other things.

Depending on which hustle you end up going with, it can take some time to get into the flow of things and/or build a steady stream of clientele, so make sure that you are promoting yourself: this means posting to your social media accounts, telling family members and friends or even hanging flyers if possible.

Put your best fashion foot forward and get to hustling!

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